Canberra Photographer

ELEGANT MAGAZINE

EDITORIAL

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I'm so happy to share the full set of images from one of the most incredible shoots I've worked on yet! Jumping around in gorgeous flower beds covered with dew on a crisp spring morning with these amazingly talented people! THE BEST! Big thank you to everyone involved! 

Publication: Elegant Magazine

Model: Hannah St James

Designer // Stylist: Style by St James

MUA // Hairstylist: Ashley Cirovski

Location: Floriade Australia

SUGAR PINES WALK WEDDING

LAURA & JUSTIN

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I had the absolute pleasure of travelling to the forrest town of Tumbarumba to photograph Justin & Laura’s wedding smack bang in the middle of the Bago State Forest, surrounded by the tallest of sugar pines and of course all their family and friends. This beautiful ceremony almost took place elsewhere due to the teaming rain that had been hammering the area all morning. But as luck would have it the rain started to ease back a little just as the guests were arriving and the call was made to risk it and stick to the plan. I have to say I am so glad they did because even though the rain eventually came pouring down all over us, the misty forrest setting was magical to say the least! I even heard one guest describe it as "Totally Kinfolk!" - I totally agree! Here are my images from the day.  x

MARRIED 60 YEARS

VAL & DON

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When White first got in contact with me and asked me if they could feature my husbands grandparents Val & Don in issue 27 of their beautiful magazine I was so thrilled. It's not often that work means spending an afternoon lunch with your nan & pop so it was really special to capture these special moments that mean the most. It is with much much love that I am sharing this with you today.

We conducted a little interview with Val & Don after lunch so make sure to scroll to the very end to read all about life and love after 60+ years of marriage. To start things off  Dan wanted to share some of his own memories and thoughts.

“Some of the fondest memories I have of my childhood are of spending weekends at my grandparent's farm in Glen Martin. My brother and I would spend our days helping Pop with the gardening, cooking with Nan, and learning how to fish, make camp fires, or play any sport we could think of. The farm was a special place for us growing up, and it was all the more special because it was such an important place for our family. My grandparents moved there in the mid 1980s, and we spent every Christmas, Easter and most birthdays there with them. They were the heads of a large, close family, and all of us looked forward to spending time together with them at the farm.”

“Unfortunately, in the early 2000s they had to move - the farm was too big to look after, and they moved in to Newcastle to be closer to family. It is clear to see how fond their memories of this place are - a large painting of the property sits proudly in the most prominent place on the lounge room wall. They still host family events, and they still keep up their gardens. Pop grows fruit and vegetables, and Nan still cooks a mean roast dinner. In 2012 we held a 60th Wedding anniversary for them at their home, and all their friends and family came. It was great for us all to be able to give back some of the love and nurturing we had received from them over the years. They are an example to all of us, and show that through hard work and dedication, we can all live long, happy lives surrounded by people who love us.”   

- Dan Smee


VAL & DON TALK LIFE TOGETHER


Q – Where did you both live when you were younger?

VAL –I lived in Barraba.

DON – Gravesend which is between Moree and Inverell.

Q – When and where did you first meet? How did your relationship develop?

VAL – In Sydney, in about 1951

DON – Yep, that’s right

VAL – We played tennis together

DON – Yep, we played a lot of tennis!

VAL – And Don, you had a motorbike, and I rode on the back of the motorbike

DON – She did

VAL – I worked in a woollen mill during the day, but I also worked in a café at night and I first met Don because he would come and have his tea there every night.

Q – Don, what did you have for tea?

DON – Oh you know, the same sort of things that most people got, steak and three veg and what have you. I went there every night to see her.

Q – When did you get married

VAL – In September 1952, 20th of September 1952

Q – Describe your wedding day

DON – It was at night time.

VAL – It was at night time because Don played tennis in the afternoon. We had a church ceremony, Wesley Chapel in Castlereagh St in Sydney, and then we had a reception in a Hall at Enmore where we lived. I suppose there might have been 50 people there.

DON – Val's parents came, and some others from her family. My father died when he was about 50, so he wasn’t there.

Q – Val, what was your dress like?

VAL – White satin, a little bit of lace at the neck, Very simple, classical dress.

Q – And Don’s suit?

DON – A Black suit. Again very traditional.

Q – Where did you have your honeymoon? Was there any particular reason?

DON – The Blue Mountains, and from there, we went on to visit Val’s family

VAL – There was no particular reason. We just thought it would be nice.

Q – Did you have any children?

VAL – We have three children. Robert who is an accountant, Brian who worked as a union official, and Janelle who is a school teacher.

Q – Do you have any grandchildren?

VAL – We have 4 grand children, and 2 adopted grandchildren. We have Steven and Jacqueline from Robert’s family, we have Ben and Dan from Janelle’s family, and Brian’s partner Jane has two daughters Angie and Lucy.

Q – Any great grandchildren?

VAL – Yes we have 4 – Cooper and Jessica who are Steven’s children, and Lara who is Jaqueline’s daughter, and she also has a step-daughter, Alex.

Q – What has been your biggest achievement as a couple?

VAL – I would have to say our family.

Q – What are some of the challenges you have faced in your marriage?

VAL – One of our sons was born with a twisted foot, but other than that no terribly difficult things so far. We are very lucky.

DON – Val's mother used to say to me “You’ll look after her, won’t you?” and I would say to her “oh, she’ll be right”. (laughter)

Q – Do you have any tips on how to overcome any challenges that arise or how to have such a great married life?

VAL – I think it's important to be with your family a lot, spend a lot of time with them.

DON – Yes, I agree.

Q – What would you say to anyone wanting to have a long and happy marriage like yours?

VAL – Learn to accept things as they come, don’t get upset over small things. Cherish each other.   

GINNINDERRY HOMESTEAD WEDDING

SAMANTHA & ANDREW

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I loved Sam & Andrew's wedding for so many reasons. Their beautiful ceremony and reception was held on an amazing property just outside of Canberra called Ginninderry Homestead. The homestead is surrounded by countryside where wild deer and goats run free. Sam & Andrew chose to spend the night before their wedding at the homestead with some close friends. They named it "paperwork day" as they actually got all the legal paperwork for their marriage completed the day before so they could really relax and enjoy their wedding. Everything about their wedding was completely true to who they are and I love that they got ready together, sneakily watched all their guests arrive from an upstairs window and walked down the aisle together, hand in hand. I'm so thankful to have been able to be a part of such an intimate and personal wedding. x

NATIONAL ARBORETUM WEDDING

LOREN & DEAN

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Loren & Dean's wedding was one where I truly felt like family. They, and both their families were so welcoming and I had the best time hanging out with their super fun bridal party. Their ceremony took place inside one of the members rooms of Old Parliament House and their reception at the amazing National Arboretum Pavilion! The views are incredible and the building is an architectural artwork itself. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you will no doubt have seen that I am totally obsessed with the gorgeous flowers from this wedding! And the best part is that Loren herself (with the help of her lovely bridesmaids) made all her own bouquets, button-holes and floral arrangements for the whole wedding. And they are just DIVINE! She is one talented gal for sure!!! Anyway Thank you so much Loren & Dean for letting me share in your beautiful day! I loved every minute! Also big thanks to my second shooter Mavis for helping me with this one! x

GINNINDERRY HOMESTEAD WEDDING

MAGAZINE FEATURE

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It's still such a thrill to see my work in one of my favourite wedding magazines! When I was getting married and flipping through the pages of White I never would have dreamed my own photographs published. Today I am so happy to share that my gorgeous couple Samantha & Andrew's wedding at Ginninderry Homestead is published in Issue 26. It's on sale today and definitely worth buying! x

COOMA COTTAGE YASS

ANNA & BEN

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Last Saturday I was fortunate enough to be invited to the wedding of Anna and Ben in Yass, NSW. The wedding was held at the historic Cooma Cottage, and not even the constant rain could dampen spirits on the day. The whole event felt like a beautiful and surreal festival shared only with the closest of family and friends (even their dogs Blue, Kep and Jip), made all the more intimate by the inclement weather. It's hard to describe just how amazing this wedding was - barefoot dancing in the rain, traditional Polish toasts with vodka shots, and delicious Mexican food from the amazing Cantina Mobil van. Thank you so much for letting me be a part of such an incredible day. Congratulations guys! #benanna2014

I hope you enjoy looking through these images as much as I enjoyed taking them. Make sure you press play on the song below - The song that Anna and Ben rocked out to for their second first dance. x